Security firm McAfee files for IPO on enthusiasm for IT stocks

Enterprise company IPOs are doing well and McAfee hopes that will continue as Intel seeks to completely reverse its 2010 acquisition.

Computer security firm McAfee has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ market in a move that could see Intel totally divest itself of the company it acquired in 2010. 

Enterprise IT companies have been dominating IPOs in 2020 and McAfeee hopes that the market's enthusiasm for IT companies will extend to its offering. It is looking to raise capital at around $8 billion valuation but it could go higher.

Intel acquired McAfee for a record $7.7 billion 10 years ago as former Intel CEO Paul Otellinni initiated a strategy to improve enterprise security across hardware and software. 

However, Intel struggled to integrate the company --  renamed as Intel Security -- and decided to spin it out under the original McAfee name. In April 2017 Intel sold a 51% stake to TPG Capital at a $4.2 billion valuation -- losing nearly half its initial value.  

Intel could regain some of its losses if the IPO does well. The recent Snowflake IPO was expected to start trading at around $75 to $85 but the IT cloud firm started trading at $245 a share before finishing its opening day at $120. Snowflake's bankers were criticized for leaving too much money on the table by mispricing demand for the shares.

McAfee's revenues for 2019 were $2.64 billion up 9.4 percent from $2.41 billion in 2018.

McAfee has been acquiring smaller cybersecurity companies to strengthen its portfolio of products and services. It will trade under the ticker symbol $MCFE.